Upgrade 2012 cMBP or Buy New 2014 rMBP/iMac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mnsportsgeek, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. mnsportsgeek, Jul 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014

    mnsportsgeek macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    I have a 2.5 gHZ core i5 mid-2012 cMBP with 4gb RAM and a 500gb 5400 rpm HDD.

    I just got married in January and my wife has a 5 year old macbook pro that needs replacing. We are looking to merge into 1 Mac machine.

    My wife has an iPad mini that she got as a gift for work and I'm looking to purchase the iPad Air 2 this fall, so we really only need 1 machine right now.

    Would you guys recommend upgrading my current machine to 16gb of Ram and a 512gb SATA III SSD? Or should I sell both machines and buy a new iMac or Macbook Pro or even a Mac Mini?

    I guess my main question is: How powerful is a 2.5 gHz core i5 mid-2012 cMBP with 16gb of DDR3 ram and a 512gb SSD? The machine still has about 8 months of AppleCare left on it.

    I could probably max out the mid 2012 MBP for about $400 or a little less where as a new machine would probably run at least $1200 wouldn't you think? How much benefit would I get from a new iMac or Mac Mini now compared to my current machine?

    My main priorities are:

    1. Price - I probably only have a little over $1000 for a new machine if it comes to that. I might be able to make it stretch further if I feel I need to.
    2. Longevity - want to be able to run the most recent OS and stay up to date as long as possible
    3. Performance - We primarily just use our machines for music and web browsing and writing, but we want to be able to use the multiple user feature (I'm assuming that's a RAM heavy feature) of the machine and put together a home movie in iMovie on occasion, but I would put our needs on the low end of the scale in terms of power.

    Thanks for your insight everyone. I'm very bad at trusting my instincts when it comes to tech and like to get a lot of opinions.
     
  2. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #2
    I would upgrade your cMBP. Like you said, for 400 or so you would have a machine that is still very good, and should be for some time ahead. If you guys need a desktop, just pick up an external monitor to hook into when you need that desktop feeling.
     
  3. mnsportsgeek thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 24, 2009
    #3
    I liked this idea initially because it had the lowest price tag. Now that I have gotten to think about it more, the $400 I'd put into this machine would increase its resale value 3+ years from now.

    It seems like processor power has stagnated while efficiency has caught up, so the processors in these new machines are only moderately better unless I were to upgrade to a quad core. I really like the idea of running this machine with a 512gb SSD and 16gb of RAM and see what it can do.

    Plus, the added option of taking the machine with on trips is a bonus that the Mac Mini or iMac would not provide.
     
  4. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #4
    Yes and I think you are right about power being stagnate. I believe any Mac in the last few years or current, will last for several more years as technology has somewhat plateaued.
     
  5. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    Intel has had some delays in getting Haswell and Broadwell CPUs to the market which means any MacBook released in terms of CPU specifications at a similar clock speed will be largely the same in terms of performance.

    While it is unusual to have a 4 year stagnation, and it's normally a 3 year cycle with CPUs it's not uncommon in recent years for this to happen. It may not be until the middle of 2015 that we really see any CPUs that are core for core better performers than the ones we have now.
     
  6. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    #6
    I think you'll find that even broadwell won't be that much different in cycle per cycle. The biggest improvement with broadwell is the integrated GPU. Everything else in broadwell will be the same. Of course because of the smaller die you'll see better battery life.

    We won't see broadwell until June 2015 or October 2014. June 2015 is more than likely.

    Even still there's not much difference.

    The only reason why I want to upgrade my mac from the 2012 cMBP to a 2014 rMBP is because of 4k and higher resolution with retina. Not to mention the m.2 pci-e 4x SSD that it comes with. That's why these SSD's run at 1300MB/s heh.

     
  7. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    If you want 4K you can just plug in. What you're trading off for a new Mac Book Pro is the ability to upgrade components. That's why I'm staying where I am.

    I'm not paying OWCs exorbitant prices for an SSD and having upgraded my RAM once to 8GB and probably upgrading to 16GB in the future. I see no point in going to a modern MacBook Pro I can't upgrade myself.
     
  8. Sifinity macrumors 6502

    Sifinity

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    honestly just stick with the cMB , i have an i7 mid -2012 13" ; the only reason you should upgrade to a retina is if your going all out,have the money to buy the thing to specifications you plan to have for next 3-5 years as there is no going back and changing after its purchased
     
  9. mnsportsgeek, Jul 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014

    mnsportsgeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    #9
    Upgrade 2012 cMBP or Buy New 2014 rMBP/iMac

    Thanks for the input guys! I just bought my 512GB MX100 SSD. I've been wanting an SSD for 5 years and they are finally affordable enough for me to take the dive. Looking forward to having my apps open instantly.

    I'll upgrade the RAM this fall and possibly look into a 4K monitor if the price is right.
     
  10. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #10
    You can't compare your cMBP upgraded with 16GB + SSD with an entry level Mac which usually comes with 128GB SSD and 4GB of RAM. Even in terms of processing power your cMBP is still way faster than the new MBA/low-priced iMac.

    A MBA will give you an Intel HD5000, better battery life, a faster SSD and Thunderbolt 2 -- only cosmetic and almost useless features if you think that's a pretty underpowered machine to take benefit of 20Gbps and ~750MB/s SSD. A good SATA3 SSD can reach ~500MB/s. That is, if you don't care with the cMBP weight, it's a still more capable than entry-level Macs if it was upgraded with SSD+16GB.
     
  11. mnsportsgeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    #11

    Thank you for the thoughts. I've never owned a smaller laptop so the weight for me is great in terms of portability.
     
  12. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #12
    The only problem is you won't be able to use your 4K monitor at 60Hz. You can use it at 30Hz or perhaps use a eventual resizing capability to look like a "retina display", but actually it would still be receiving a low-res input. Before buying a 4K display, assure that it has a good interpolation algorithm to make a lower input resolution look like 4K.
     

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